Recently my husband and I drove through the rolling hills of western Illinois. The sunshine fell softly on the farms and the cattle grazing on the green hills. It was a beautiful day, and we were on our way to a retreat with our church family.
We had two and one-half days to study God’s word, pray and enjoy the wonderful view of rolling hills. Some of took a two mile hike on the ranch property. It was a time of sunshine, rest and renewal. We stayed at a beautiful lodge.
During our time together a retired pastor and his wife led discussions on the life of Joseph, Daniel, Mordecai and Esther. Each of these Biblical people had endured difficult situations but continued to trust in God’s sovereignty. They were steadfast and demonstrated poise.
One of the comments offered: God is always doing more than we can see at the time.
Daniel was placed in the lion’s den, but he survived without injury. As a result, King Darius made this decree:
Then King Darius wrote to all the people, nations and languages that dwell in all the earth. “Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever. Daniel 6:25-26
In a few years following King Darius decree, Zerubbabel was given leave to go back to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the temple.
Over meals and during free time we shared personal experiences. The women took turns making meals for our group. For one of the breakfasts, I made Fruit & Nut Baked Oatmeal. It went over well and you can find the recipe here. I did make a couple of adjustments to the recipe. Instead of canola oil, I used avocado oil. Instead of 2% milk, I used coconut milk (available at Trader Joe).
On one of the evenings, we stood on the porch, watching the sunset and giving thanks for God’s creation.